Monday, September 8, 2014

Thai Short 18: Endless, Nameless takes top prize

Cabezón (Big Head), winner of the International Competition.

Endless, Nameless, a highly experimental film that was actually shot on film, won the top-prize R.D. Pestonji Award for general Thai filmmakers at the 18th Thai Short Film and Video Festival on Sunday.

Directed by Pathompon Tesprateep and shot on Super 8 footage that was then processed by hand, the flickering images depicted soldiers gathered in a high-ranking officer's backyard. They are pitted against various objects, inanimate and otherwise, including a hissing cobra, which sways back and forth.

The pick of Endless, Nameless came as the Thai Short Film and Video Festival paid tribute to the Thai Film Archive's 30th anniversary, with Archive EX, a special program of Thai experimental films from pre-digital age.

But the triumph of the 8mm experimental film also comes as one of the festival's long-running awards, the Kodak Filmschool Award, for student films made with Kodak stock, is no more. Aside from Endless, Nameless, no other competition entries were made on film – all were digital productions. Meanwhile, two production service companies, VS Service and Cinetoys, stepped in this year with two new special awards, both honoring movies about movie-making.

The Cinetoys' prize went to Rest in Peace by Nonthakorn Patphol (The Thai title ภาพยนตร์เรื่องสุดท้ายพระเอกตายตอนจบ refers to the action-movie hero dying in the end) while VS Services' gong went to Endslate, capturing a day on the set of an indie movie.

Other entries in the R.D. Pestonji competition, named for Thailand's pioneering auteur of the 1950s, included the runner-up Endlessly by Sivaroj Kongsakul, about a grandmother and her grandchild spending a day together. It was also among winners of the Vichamatra Award for distinctive achievements in filmmaking.

Another Pestonji entry, Isan Mars, about a project to send workers from Thailand's rural Northeast to Mars, was among the winners of the BACC Award, instituted last year by the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, which hosts the festival.

Also from the Pestonji line-up was The Way of Life, Tah Kwa's look at the forced ouster of indigenous people from their traditional homes in the upland forests to the lowlands. It won a special mention in the Pestonji category and the Pirabkhao (White Dove) Award from the 14 October 73 Memorial Foundation for films highlighting social concerns.

In the International Competition, the top prize went to Cabezón (Big Head), a Chilean comedy in which a painter is tasked with painting a portrait of a client's pet dog – an old stubborn and lazy mastiff. The painter eventually bonds with his subject, plying the epically drooling canine with sliced ham.

The White Elephant Award top prize went to the coming-of-age friendship drama Menstrual Synchrony by Jirassaya Wongsuthin, which also shared the Popular Vote award with The Second Friendship Book by Pakchayos Charanchol, which competed in the Special White Elephant category for filmmakers under 18.

In animation, the Payut Ngaokrachang Award went to Neither Lit Nor Dark by Chanon Treenate. The prize is named after Thailand's pioneering animator. Among the runners-up was I Can Fly by perennial award-winner Twatpong Tangsajapoj, which also won a Vichamatra Award. A special mention went to The Bird and the Fish by Kanitrin Thailamthong, in which a lifelike cartoon pigeon witnesses a fish falling from the sky. It also won a BACC Award.

BACC Award

  • The Bird and the Fish by Kanitrin Thailamthong
  • Isan Mars by P. Sangsorn

Special Award from Cinetoys and Services Co., Ltd.

  • Rest in Peace by Nonthakorn Patphol

Special Award from VS Service Company Limited

  • Endslate by Chinnavorn Nongyoa

Pirabkhao award

  • The Way of Life by Tah Kwa

Duke Award (documentaries)

  • Special Mention – Khon Tie Tor by Kittipat Kanoknak and Dad by Tipwan Narintorn
  • Runner-up – Once in a Year by Teerapan Ngaojeeranan and Lice in the Wonderland by Boonyarit Wiengnon
  • Grand-Prix – Rao Choana Yoo Kub Kwai (เราชาวนาอยู่กับควาย ) by Wachara Kunha

R.D. Pestonji Award International Competition
  • Special Mention – Mama by Lidia Sheinin, Russia
  • Best International Short Film – Cabezón (Big Head) by Jairo Boisier, Chile 

R.D. Pestonji Award (for general Thai filmmakers)
  • Special Mention – The Way of Life by Tah Kwa, Auntie Maam Has Never Had a Passport by Soroyos Prapapan and Narayana’s Arrow Spaceship: Between the Orbits of Mars and Jupiter by Paranoid Team
  • Runner-up – Endlessly by Sivroj Kongsakul, Somewhere Only We Know by Wichanon Somumjarn and Myth of Modernity by Chulayarnnon Siriphol
  • Grand Prix – Endless, Nameless by Pathompon Tesprateep

Payut Ngaokrachang Award (animation)
  • Special Mention – The Bird and the Fish by Kanitrin Thailamthong, Congratulations by Pathompong Thititan and Aelio by Pongpreecha Kittiporniwat
  • Runner-Up – I Can Fly by Twatpong Tangsajapoj and The Blanket by Pasraporn Tampanon
  • Grand Prix – Neither Lit Nor Dark by Chanon Treenate
Special White Elephant (students under 18)
  • Special Mention – Past Perfect by Wethaka Jarampornsakul and Sirya Lertsmithwong and The Second Friendship Book by Pakchayos Charanchol
  • Grand Prix – The Misplaced Flower by Zo Chamuleur
White Elephant (student films)
  • Special Mention – Duct Move Past by Nichapa Trongsiri  , Hula Hoop by Reawadee Ngamloon, Khmer Talisman by Pissamai Duangnoi and /'Spel,baund by Nat Eiamkhunthongsuk
  • Runner-Up – 329 by Tinnawat Chankloi and Gandharva by Theerapat Ngathong
  • Grand Prix – Menstrual Synchrony by Jirassaya Wongsuthin

JENESYS 2.0 Award (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth)
  • A-ANT by Natpong Prasri
  • Inspiration by Punya Choo
  • Red Shoes by Wannisa Pinjai
  • Dream and Bad Day by Pakawadee Pongisrapan
  • Home by Apinya Mahatham
  • Brush by Nat Watanakul
  • Do you? by Patraporn Rachatakittisuntorn
  • Illusive Dream by Patrin Chaopanich
  • Window Job by Parunyu Chaisri
Best Actor
  • Ornanong Thaisriwong from Anna

Vichitmatra Award
  • Scent of the Morning Sun by Monkham Khukhuntin and Harin Paesongthai
  • Goodbye by Nakorn Chaisri
  • I Can Fly by Twatpong Tangsajapoj
  • Endlessly by Sivaroj Kongsakul

Popular Vote
  • Menstrual Synchrony by Jirassaya Wongsuthin
  • The Second Friendship Book by Pakchayos Charanchol

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